Oracle’s executive chairman and CTO Larry Ellison wants everyone to know that his cloud is just as good or better as everyone else’s.
To that end, on Sunday, at the opening keynote of Oracle’s massive tech conference kicking off this week in San Francisco, he demonstrated a new chat bot service on Oracle’s cloud.
It’s not exactly Siri or Alexa. The new chat bot is a service that lets a programmer create apps. These apps will then let employees text various Oracle apps to do various tasks. Oracle imagines hosting an army of them on its cloud one day.
Or as Ellison described it, “You simply text with your enterprise application. Ask your enterprise application to do something for you,” he said.
Ellison demonstrated it on Sunday night by ordering business cards, with a joke about the fact that he’s no longer CEO. He stepped down from the role in 2014 and took the title CTO. But whatever his title, he’s the cofounder and No. 1 power guy at the company.
So, using an iPad, he asked an Oracle app called iProcurment to “order cards.”
And the chat bot showed him his last order, and then said “Hmm… It looks like your title has changed since your last order.”
The audience laughed. And Ellison couldn’t help but take the joke further. “Thank God I didn’t check my salary. That would have been really bad. It wasn’t just my title that changed folks. I don’t want to complain. We have some board members in the audience.”
When the order for new cards was placed and the app asked if it could help him with anything else, he said, “No. Thank you very much, unless I can change my salary back to what it used to be.”
He’s clearly joking. Larry Ellison’s pay was slashed from $79.6 million, mostly in stock options in 2014 to $63.6 million in 2015. He’s got a net worth of over $49 billion. And if Oracle’s planned acquisition of a company he mostly owns, NetSuite, is completed as planned, he’ll make $3.5 billion in cash on that alone. He also told college grads in a commencement speech last May that at some point, life is “not about the money.”
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